Haiti To Join The African Union
Haiti has made a bid to become the first country not situated in Africa to join the African Union.
Haiti had already recently attended the African Union International Conference of Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, as a member observer. Now the country has surprised delegates with the announcement that it would seek full associate membership with the 54-member bloc.
Haiti’s status as a full associate member will be effective from the next Union Summit next June in South Africa.
Haiti becomes the first African Diaspora state to become a member of the AU.
This is the natural consequence of what has been a positive relationship between Haiti and the African Union. President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal called for the accelerated naturalisation of Haitians following the devastating 2010 elections.
Haiti itself has promised to aid in negotiations for the reduction of debt once it becomes a full member. It also will mean the opening of new markets for the country.
For Africa this is in line with constitutive Act which declares that it shall “invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our Continent, in the building of the African Union”. The African Union Government has defined the African diaspora as “consisting of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union”.
If treated correctly this could be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Sources: BET, Haiti Libre, Wikipedia